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Vendetta Roundtable: Best Sports Moments Of 2023

2023 best moments
(Photo Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports)

Vendetta Roundtable: Best Sports Moments Of 2023

2023 has come to an end and it was quite the year in the sports world. There were some amazing moments. The Vendetta crew has gotten together with what they think the best sports moment of the year was.

Jerry Walker:

Shohei Ohtani vs Mike Trout in the WBC.

You cannot write up a better ending than the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). With Japan leading the U.S. 3-2 in the ninth inning all eyes fell on a pair of then-Los Angeles Angels teammates, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.

Arguably the two best players in baseball faced off with two outs. On the mound, Ohtani fell behind 1-0 before gassing four straight pitches of at least 100 mph to make it a full count. Instead of relying on the fastball, Ohtani threw an 87 mph slider that had Trout swinging at nothing but air. With that strikeout, Ohtani threw his cap in the air, and Japan celebrated becoming the WBC Champions for the first time since 2009.

The WBC made baseball fun again. Side note: The Denver Nuggets winning the title was also pretty awesome.


Ezzie Douek:

Lionel Messi goes to Inter Miami.

Messi, after winning the World Cup and solidifying himself as the GOAT, brought his talents to Inter Miami, changing the scene of U.S. soccer. When Messi arrived, everything changed; U.S. soccer became exciting, and everyone wanted to see Messi. This wasn’t the only thing Messi changed … he brought star power with him Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba. This makes the MLS even more exciting to watch and further becomes a new destination for retired superstars, raising the MLS.

James Herrick:

Jon Jones Submits Ciryl Gane at UFC 285.

In my opinion, the top sports moment of 2023 is Jon Jones’ submission win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. This fight held a ton of historical significance. Entering the bout, the MMA GOAT debate was closely contested between Jones and Georges St-Pierre.

It was very possible to make an argument for either fighter. If you were making the case for St-Pierre, one of the distinguishing aspects of his resume was that he was a two-division champion. At UFC 285, Jones had a chance to add that accomplishment to his resume. Additionally, the bout was his first heavyweight fight as well as his return from a three-year layoff.

With that historical significance on the line, Jones submitted Gane in the first round. It was as clean of a performance as he could have asked for, and long story short, Jones ended the MMA GOAT debate with a sensational performance. That is worthy of the top sports moment of 2023.

Christopher Bagdonas:

Manchester City’s incredible season.

While it’s not my favorite, Manchester City winning the treble is in my opinion the most powerful moment of the year. It truly solidifies them as one of the big boys, and arguably THE powerhouse in club football. While they have tailed off slightly in the PL as of late, you simply cannot count out Pep Guardiola and his team in any way.

While there is still a lot to unpack with the FFP allegations, spending aside from the UCL triumph caps off a meteoric rise for the Cityzens since their purchase by Sheikh Mansour in 2008. It is now a conversation of how much more they will dominate the sport in the following years rather than if they can reach the top.

Garrett Burroughs:

The Nuggets’ First Championship.

I have been a Denver Nuggets fan since the late 2000s. I have been through it all: The Allen Iverson hype; The Melo years; George Karl getting fired after being Coach of the Year and the bad years following. There was a time when I genuinely believed the Nuggets would be moved from the city.

But all that changed when Nikola Jokic came to town. Belief started to grow, but I always had a feeling they’d never win a title. When the buzzer sounded at the end of Game 5, I burst into tears. Hell, I’m getting goosebumps writing this. It’s going to be a while before this gets trumped in my fandom. So without a doubt, the best sports moment of the year is the Nuggets raising their first banner.

Matt Hanifan:

Denver Nuggets win first-ever NBA Title.

While I wish it was the most forgettable moment in my Miami Heat-centric head, there’s nothing quite like watching a franchise capture its first-ever title. No matter if you’re a fan, player or executive–it’s the most gratifying feeling on Earth. The Nuggets did that exact thing this year. The run was spearheaded by Jokic, a two-time MVP and Finals MVP, who averaged 30 points, 13.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists.

Jokic and the Nuggets etched their name into history as one of the most dominant NBA champions in recent memory, going 16-4 with the highest playoff NET Rating (+8.7) for an NBA Champion. Among all the great memories, I think this deserves to be recognized as the best moment in 2023 … even if it came at the expense of me.


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